"Well, here's something you don't see every day, Chauncy."
Fred Carlson's Harp-Sympitar
© Frank Ford, 2002; Photos by FF
"Oh, I don't know, Edgar, Fred Carlson lives just over the hill from here." (With apology to Jay Ward and Bill Scott. . .)
If you know Fred Carlson, you're not too surprised to see this magnificent creation. His is one of the most agile and imaginative minds in lutherie today - who else would have brought us the "Dreadnautilus?" If you don't know Fred, you should go beyond the trees and meet him! I have more photos here because I have fewer words to describe this instrument. Suffice it to say there are a dozen tuned sympathetic strings running inside the neck and body, and a little damper lever inside the soundhole to disengage them when desired. Add to it the harp section, and you have a sustaining, resonance monster!
A full complement of MIDI-able electronics round out this multi-century musical bridge. There are individual RMC units for each guitar and harp string, and a Rick Turner-designed pickup for the internal sympathetics.
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